Brazilian Joy Weed, Calico Plant, Parrot Leaf
Purple Prince Alternanthera's attractive pointy leaves emerge olive green in spring, turning burgundy in color with showy purple variegation the rest of the year. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are ornamentally significant.
Purple Prince Alternanthera is a dense herbaceous annual with a ground-hugging habit of growth. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition.
This plant will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and should not require much pruning, except when necessary, such as to remove dieback. It has no significant negative characteristics.
Purple Prince Alternanthera is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Mass Planting
- Border Edging
- General Garden Use
- Container Planting
- Hanging Baskets
Purple Prince Alternanthera will grow to be about 14 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 20 inches. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 14 inches apart. Its foliage tends to remain dense right to the ground, not requiring facer plants in front. Although it's not a true annual, this fast-growing plant can be expected to behave as an annual in our climate if left outdoors over the winter, usually needing replacement the following year. As such, gardeners should take into consideration that it will perform differently than it would in its native habitat.
This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.
Purple Prince Alternanthera is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor containers and hanging baskets. Because of its spreading habit of growth, it is ideally suited for use as a 'spiller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the edges where it can spill gracefully over the pot. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.